Status Update since our March Forecast
On 6 March, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Nicholas Haysom briefed the Security Council (S/PV.9274) on the Secretary-General’s most recent 90-day report on South Sudan (S/2023/135). OCHA’s Acting Director of Operations and Advocacy, Tareq Talahma, also briefed. Closed consultations followed the briefing.
On 15 March, the Security Council adopted resolution 2677, renewing the mandate of UNMISS until 15 March 2024. The resolution was adopted with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions (China and Russia).
Women, Peace and Security
On 7 March, the Security Council held a ministerial-level open debate on women, peace and security (WPS) titled “Women and peace and security: towards the twenty-fifth anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000)” (S/PV.9276). The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique, Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo, chaired the meeting. The Council was briefed by: UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on WPS Bineta Diop, and 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee.
On 8 March, the Council convened for an open briefing on Afghanistan (S/PV.9277). Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Roza Otunbayeva and Zubaida Akbar, Afghanistan Programme Officer at Freedom Now, briefed. Representatives of Afghanistan, India, Iran, and Pakistan participated in the briefing under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. The briefing was followed by closed consultations.
On 16 March, the Council unanimously adopted two resolutions on Afghanistan: resolution 2678, which extended UNAMA’s mandate until 17 March 2024, and resolution 2679, which requested that the Secretary-General provide the Council with an independent assessment of the international community’s approach to Afghanistan by 17 November (S/PV.9283).
On 28 March, Council members issued a press statement (SC/15246) that condemned “the continued heinous terrorist attacks targeting civilians in Afghanistan, including the attack near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan on 27 March, which was claimed by ISIL (Da’esh)-K and resulted in at least six people killed and several wounded”.
On 8 March, the Security Council adopted resolution 2676, renewing the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee until 12 March 2024. The resolution decided to reaffirm and renew the measures of the Sudan sanctions regime until 12 September 2024, and to make a decision regarding their further renewal no later than that date. The resolution was adopted with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions (China and Russia).
On 20 March, the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Harold Adlai Agyeman (Ghana), provided the quarterly briefing on the Committee’s work (S/PV.9288). On the same day, Special Representative for Sudan and head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) Volker Perthes briefed the Council (S/PV.9289) on the Secretary-General’s latest 90-day report on Sudan (S/2023/154).
On 13 March, the Council convened for a private meeting on Myanmar. Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi briefed. The meeting was held pursuant to resolution 2669 of 21 December 2022, which requested that the Secretary-General or his Special Envoy, in coordination with the Special Envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), report orally to the Council on “UN support on implementation of the Five Point Consensus”. (The Five-Point Consensus, which was adopted by ASEAN in April 2021, called for an immediate cessation of violence, constructive dialogue among all parties, a special envoy of the ASEAN chair to facilitate mediation of the dialogue process, humanitarian assistance, and a visit to Myanmar by the ASEAN Special Envoy to meet all parties concerned.)
On 16 March, Council members received a briefing in consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2023/184). Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed.
On 16 March, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2023/2) on Libya. In the statement, the Council said that it is encouraged by the launch of the Libyan High-Level Panel for Elections, which Special Representative for Libya and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Abdoulaye Bathily announced during his 27 February Council briefing (S/PV.9270).
Security Sector Reform
On 16 March, the Security Council held an open briefing (S/PV.9285) on security sector reform at the initiative of Council president Mozambique. Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions Alexander Zuev and AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye briefed the Council. Representatives of Slovakia and South Africa, the co-chairs of the Group of Friends of Security Sector Reform, participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
Arria-formula Meeting on Integrating the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons into the Work of the Security Council
On 20 March, Security Council members held an Arria-formula meeting on “Integrating the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons into the Council’s Mandate for Maintaining International Peace and Security”. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (US) chaired the meeting. The briefers were: the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), Victor Madrigal-Borloz; the founder and director of the NGO Afghan LGBT Organization, Artemis Akbary; and María Susana Peralta Ramón, a lawyer and scholar who leads the peace and transitional justice team at the NGO Colombia Diversa. All Security Council members were represented at the meeting, but Mozambique, Gabon, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) did not deliver remarks. This was the first open informal meeting of Council members on LGBTI issues.
DPRK (North Korea)
On 17 March, Albania and the US convened an Arria-formula meeting titled “the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)”. The meeting was co-sponsored by Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK Elizabeth Salmón, Chief of the Prevention and Sustaining Peace Section at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) James Turpin, and two refugees from the DPRK briefed. The meeting was not broadcast on UNTV after China raised an objection to webcasting it on the official UN channel; however, it was streamed on the Albanian mission’s Facebook page.
On 20 March, the Council convened for an open briefing on the DPRK (S/PV.9287). Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia, and the Americas Miroslav Jenča briefed. Albania, Ecuador, France, Japan, Malta, the UK, and the US requested the meeting after the DPRK launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on 16 March. The ROK participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
On 23 March, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2680, which extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee until 30 April 2024 (S/PV.9292).
On 23 March, Council members convened for a briefing on the activities of the 1540 Committee (S/PV.9293). Ambassador Hernán Pérez Loose (Ecuador) briefed the Council in his capacity as chair of the 1540 Committee. At the briefing, he discussed the latest developments since the Committee’s previous report to the Council. He emphasised the Committee’s successful completion of its comprehensive review of resolution 1540, along with the extension of its mandate until 30 November 2032. Pérez also presented the Committee’s planned programme of work for 2023.
On 27 March, the Security Council held a private meeting on the situation in Somalia. The meeting was convened pursuant to resolution 2670 of 21 December 2022, which extended the operational timeline for the drawdown of the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) by six months until 30 June. Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia and head of the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Mohamed El-Amine Souef, EU Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Annette Weber, representatives of Somalia, and ATMIS troop-contributing countries attended the meeting.
On 28 March, the Council convened for a high-level debate on “Countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism conducive to terrorism by strengthening cooperation between the UN and regional organisations and mechanisms” under the agenda item “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts” (S/PV.9296). The debate was one of the signature events of Mozambique’s presidency and was chaired by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Chairperson of the AU Azali Assoumani briefed. Rwanda participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 29 March, the Security Council held a briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including the work of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO). Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MONUSCO Bintou Keita briefed on MONUSCO and recent developments in the DRC based on the Secretary-General’s latest report(S/2023/208). The representatives of Burundi, DRC, and Rwanda participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
France and Gabon, which co-led Council members’ visiting mission to DRC from 9 to 12 March, provided a formal briefing about the series of engagements with the Congolese authorities, MONUSCO and the UN Country Team, and other stakeholders. The Council also adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2023/3) as a follow-up to the visiting mission, which underlines the importance of a political resolution to the peace and security challenges in eastern DRC and reiterates its support for regional efforts.
On 29 March, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and recent developments based on the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2023/203)
Silencing the Guns
On 30 March, the Council held an open debate on “Peace and security in Africa: The impact of development policies in the implementation of the Silencing the Guns initiative”. There were briefings by: Cristina Duarte, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Africa; Mohamed Ibn Chambas, High Representative of the AU for Silencing the Guns Initiative; Mirko Manzoni, Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Mozambique. President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique chaired the meeting. Mozambique circulated the concept note for the open debate in a letter dated 24 February.